Dynamic Business Development

(PresseBox) ( Augsburg, )
- Revenues at EUR139.6m, 8.0% increase vs. prior year (EUR129.3m)
- Operating result (EBIT) at EUR12.2m by 42.8% above prior year (EUR8.6m), EBIT margin increased for the first half-year from 6.6% to 8.7%
- Expansion of the washing chemicals business by acquiring AUWAChemie GmbH & Co KG

Following a successful start into fiscal year 2008, the business of the WashTec Group, the leading provider of innovative solutions for vehicle wash systems worldwide, continued to develop dynamically in the 2nd quarter of 2008.

In the second quarter alone, revenues increased by 8.6% compared to the same period in 2007. In the first six months, the WashTec group generated revenues of EUR139.6m. This corresponds to a growth of EUR10.3m or 8.0% compared to the previous year (H1 2007: EUR129.3m). Adjusted for the exchange rate depreciation of the US Dollar and British pound, the growth in revenues amounted to 10.4%. In Germany, as in the rest of Europe, the revenues were well above the weak half-year of 2007.

The revenues of subsidiary Mark VII, USA were USD 0.7m below the previous year.The high increase in petrol prices in US Dollars terms and the weak economic environment led to a temporary reluctance to invest for small and medium-sized customers. As a result of the exchange rate developments of the US Dollar, the revenues in Euros were 3.4m below that of the previous year.

The operating result (EBIT) increased by 42.8% compared to the previous year, from EUR8.6m to EUR12.2m. Income before tax (EBT) increased to EUR10.6m after EUR6.6m in the previous year. This corresponds to an increase of 61.9%. Net income for the period was at EUR7.4m (H1 2007: EUR4.0m).

As a result of the positive business development, the operational cash flow was also clearly above prior year (H1 2007: EUR6.4m) with EUR11.6m.

The expansion along the vehicle wash value chain continued successfully in the first six months of the year. On May 7, WashTec reported the takeover of AUWA-Chemie GmbH & Co. KG (AUWA). AUWA is a medium-sized manufacturer of car wash chemical products with its own sales organisation in Germany and sales partners throughout Europe. The company, based in Augsburg, was founded in 1970 and achieves revenues of about EUR5m p.a. The acquisition of AUWA represents an important addition to product know-how regarding car washing chemicals. The integration has been executed according to plan and the overall washing chemicals business has developed positively since the acquisition.

The acquisition of AUWA was financed through the existing credit lines of the WashTec group.

Due to the positive business performance, net-liabilities to banks were reduced to EUR42.1m in the first 6 months of 2008 (December 31, 2007 EUR52.0). The equity ratio increased to 38.2% (31 December 2007: 34.4%).


The board of directors continues to strive for a growth in revenues between 4% and 7% compared to last year due to the anticipated anti-cyclical seasonal spread in revenues. The precise increase in revenues will, however, depend on the development of the US Dollar's exchange rate and the economic situation in the USA. The EBIT margin is expected to increase by 6% to 10% compared to 2007.

The offerings along the carwash value chain will be further expanded. The integration of AUWA and the continuing expansion of additional offerings remain important components of the WashTec strategy.

At the same time, all focus markets will be explored in order to strengthen the market position, or achieve a leading market position where this is not yet the case. In order to achieve this, additional acquisitions are possible.

The largest world-wide industry trade fair automechanika is taking place in Frankfurt in September this year. WashTec will present its complete product portfolio and various innovations on an expanded show room. The new subsidiary AUWA will be represented at the fair with its own show room. Events for analysts and investors are planned for the fair.

In the USA, the development of new brush and touch free technology will continue, as well as the expansion of the sales and service network. Additional acquisitions are also possible in connection with the expansion of sales and service activities.

The board of directors continues to strive for revenues between EUR310m and EUR340m by 2010 and an increase of the operational EBIT margin to 12% to 14%.
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